with Lorelle and Brent VanFossen

Lorelle is Wearing Socks

Yes! Lorelle is wearing socks.

This might not seem like a monumental event for you, but for those who know me, this is unprecedented.

I put on socks this morning and did a little dance around our trailer singing, “I’m wearing socks. I’m wearing saw-awks. I’m weeeeee-ring sock-sock-sock-sock-socks!”

The only thing that kept Hurricane Wilma from heading north, straight up to smack us, was a cold front that moved down from Canada across the US to push Wilma to turn to the hard right, away from the Gulf and into Florida. So yeah for cold front!

This morning, after my sock dance, I was on the phone to our dear friend, Marion, who lives in Vero Beach, Florida, on the east side. She still has electricity and phone, but it is not expected to last much longer as Wilma comes pounding swiftly across the southern part of Florida. She is directly in the center of this record breaking nasty storm. Hopefully it will be down to a Category 2 by the time it hits her after crashing across the western coast of Florida. She is prepared to weather it out like she has for all the hurricanes over the past six years or more. Amazing woman.

Brent and I slept glued to each other, hunkered down under the few measly blankets I could grab at last minute.

Kohav sits among blankets of our memories, photograph by Lorelle VanFossenAs I lay there after Brent scrambled out of bed and into the warm shower, I realized that I was covered in love. Not just the warm remains of Brent’s body heat, but in the blankets, quilts, and afghans I’d pulled from every corner of the trailer to cover us during the night.

Above the top sheet was the first blanket of our marriage, given to us by Brent’s Grandmother Matthews, the woman who taught me that the way to cure any problem in our marriage was to simply scratch Brent’s back. Trust me, it works like a charm. He completely melts.

Unable to find “real” blankets in Israel when the winter came, we asked Brent’s parents to dig out this blanket out of the trailer and mail it us overseas. We needed the warmth of a blanket for the cooler times but not the heat of the warm and heavy duvets for the colder times in between boiling heat and moderate chill. I made sure that the blanket was in the boxes that we mailed back to us in the states rather than in our packed shipping container so we would have it ready for to deal with the shift from boiling temperatures in Israel to December chills in the states.

Above that is a beautiful quilt made by my dear friend, Kate Livingston. This, too, has a wonderful story. My bestest friend, Susan Siverson, made a going away present for me of a lovely tatting travel kit. Formed like a fabric book, it allows me to put my tatting books and guides in a clear plastic inner pocket with a sealable pocket across from it for my threads and tatting shuttles, then fold and tie it up with a ribbon so it would slip into my luggage or bag as we traveled around the country and the world. The fabric she used consisted of her favorite colors of purples, blacks, and greens. Kate took one look at this and laughed as she had been working for several years on a quilt made of that exact same fabric.

A couple weeks later, she finished it off and presented it to me as a “matching” going away present. We imagined I would be snuggled under the quilt with the matching tatting kit, whipping my fingers and shuttle in and out of the threaded lace designs I tatted. Wonderful! And so I did.

On top of the quilt lays a worn but durable brown, black, and white Mexican blanket, the old kind, made out of almost raw wool edged with tattered fringe from too many years and cleanings. Recovering from mononucleosis in my senior year of high school, frustrated at missing a couple months of school, my mother took me to Puerta Vallarta, Mexico, for a week in the sun to warm up before I was to return to back to school.

At 17, I’d been around a few bushes, but was not prepared for my mother throwing off the yoke of “motherliness”, something she’s never been very good at, and throwing herself into the nightlife for the first two nights. Holding my mother’s head as she leaned over the toilet was not my idea of how a mother-daughter trip should go. Somehow it seemed more appropriate that it should be me worshiping the porcelain gods and not her, after all I was 17, and should be wild and crazy. I guess I was a little late to wild and crazy, but rest assured, a few years later, I had a few of my own nights with the gods.

In the next few days, as she slowly recovered, we were able to laugh at it and drew closer as the warm days moved on. She loved the exciting stuff, laying on the beach soaking up the sun, dancing, and laughing, talking to everyone, but I liked the quiet of walk long hours through the town with my camera, looking for cats and dogs lying on door steps, interesting windows and store fronts, strange plants, patterns on the beach, and more artistic things.

On one walk through town early in the morning, she joined me instead of heading to the beach. Near the end of the trip, we were also looking for odds and ends to take home. Inside of a huge shop stuffed to the brim with leather purses, I found two battered looking Mexican blankets for $5 each. One sniff and my mother turned her nose up, but I wanted them.

With encouragement from her, though, I did spent $30 on a leather bag that I also still have today which travels with me just about everywhere. I call it the expando bag as it just hangs over the shoulder, but when it needs to, it expands to consume just about anything I put in it.

I still have both of those two Mexican blankets in the trailer with us, even decades later. One lays on me now.

Atop all of this, added at four this morning, is the handmade afghan by Susan Siverson, a wedding gift. The zigzag lines of white, tan and blue, add to the final kaleidoscope of memories and patterns that cover our bed in this tin box which has seen over 80,000 miles on the road.

Add to the memories is the fact that the socks I’m wearing are Christmas presents from my mother with kittens playing on them. She knows I don’t wear socks, but she loves funny socks with characters and interesting designs, so she assumes that I will enjoy them, even if I don’t wear them.

Well, mother, I’m wearing them now.


  • Posted November 17, 2005 at 22:35 | Permalink

    Loved this post. Was going to put the blog on my tatting site & realized this may be the only reference to tatting, so I didn’t. Will be back to visit more. :-)

  • Posted November 18, 2005 at 10:16 | Permalink

    I love tatting, though it got put on hold with the extensive amount of airline travel versus our normal car travel – after 9-11 airlines looked at plastic tatting shuttles in a new light.

    I have a huge collection of wonderful tatting sites and information and it’s a fabulous hobby for travelers, so I’ll work on an article about tatting on the road and post it, but it will be a while as I’m currently traveling AGAIN and WIFI connections are far and few. Thanks for the kick in the butt.

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